Meditation on a Tragic Anniversary
A radiant cloudless morning
_____ air fresh and clear
__________ sky the brightest blue
_______________ mood mellow
A lovely young day bright with promise ––
And then a gleaming silver shell appeared
_____ mirroring beautifully the morning sunshine
__________ A Thing of Beauty –– but horribly out of place
_______________ like a spacecraft from an alien planet
Dipping crazily far too low upon the skyline
_____ before anyone could feel the menace ––
_________ it smashed directly into a gigantic upright construct ––
_______________ one of a pair ––
Twin monuments to Greed and Vain Ambition some were quick to say
But sudden violent death eradicated an entire investment firm
_____ in one horrific instant ––
__________ dozens of bright young lives incinerated –– gone!
Before dazed onlookers could begin to understand what was happening
_____ another silver shell acting as a missile
__________ crashed into the second of the giant pair.
Ugly buildings! A hideous blot
_____ on the once-graceful Manhattan skyline!
“Ada Louise Huxtable might secretly rejoice at this,”
_____ part of me though wickedly, for I had always resented
__________ the overbearing, outsized twins ––
_______________ bounders, interlopers, invaders!
But before that ruined day was halfway through
_____ three-thousand innocents had been
__________ burned alive, brains and eyeballs boiled
__________ skulls pulverized, skeletons crushed
_______________ between twisting, white hot girders
_______________ pelted with falling rubble midst the flames
_______________ caught, crippled, crumpled, smashed to bits ––
__________ Smothered in collapsing stairwells and buried alive
_______________ in a torrent of red hot cinders and debris
In so many ways the scene must have mimicked the final hours
_____ of the residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum
And then there were those hideous echoes
––––– of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire ––
Where so many jumped to their deaths
_____ to escape being burned alive ––
In an instant smashed skulls, broken bones and bloody pulp
_____ were all that remained of their vibrant young lives ––
__________ and locked inside the ruined sweatshop ––
_______________ cinders –– ashes and soot.
And just a year ago in Benghazi –– to mark the anniversary
__________ of this Great Triumph of Barbarity over Civilization
_______________ our young, handsome, well-meaning,
_______________ hopelessly naive, ambassador to Libya
_______________ was surrounded in his quarters,
_______________ dragged out into the streets
_______________ beaten, sodomized and brutally murdered.
But what does any of this matter? What difference does it make?
_____ Let’s just forget about it, and MOVE ON.
__________ Might as well.
We are privileged to live in interesting times.